- I first wanted to take the time and thank you for doing this interview with me today. For our readers who haven’t heard of you yet, can you tell us about yourself and anything about the band you’d want us to know? Who have been your major influences in your writing style?
No problem! Thank you for thinking we’re interesting enough to be interviewed! Well we’re a metalcore band that plays metalcore. I know that sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many times you can sit down and think you’re going to listen to a metalcore band and instead get some radio rock/pop combination. We’re not saying anything is wrong with that, but with us, we’re not a pop group masquerading as a metalcore band. We are what we say we are, and what we say is what you’re going to get.
We have a lot of different artists that have influenced our music. Bands like August Burns Red, Underoath, and Architects are big inspirations of ours. We also get a lot of influence from non-metalcore bands such as Blink-182, Emery, and even the Beatles.
- Let’s talk about what you currently have going on. Any new music or new tours in the works? If you were to say one song of your own perfectly sums up what you are all about which song would that be?
- We just released a new EP entitled Theodicy in early April. We have some shows and other things in the works right now, but nothing is official just yet.
Our song “Castles in Air” really gives you a good taste of who we are. From the instrumentals, to the vocals, to the lyrics, it’s everything we’re trying to portray. We just recently released a music video for it. The link for it is here:
- When you write any new music, can you tell us what the process is like? Describe to us what happens in a typical writing session.
We usually start with just one main riff and build off it. Once we have a basic foundation of a song, we’ll write a very rough draft to the song on the guitars. Our drummer, David, will then take that song home to write a basic drum part to it, all the while making any necessary tweaks and adjustments. Depending on the song, David will also add in any keys or strings at this stage, or he’ll wait until after the vocals are written and recorded. David will then bring that version of the song back to the band, and we’ll again make changes. Once we agree on the structure and the instrumentals of a song, we’ll start assigning lyrics to each part of the song. Writing screaming to a song is relatively easy, because you mainly only have to worry about the rhythm and being on time. Clean singing is a whole other beast. Usually we’ll spend hours on one part of one song trying to get the best possible melody and harmonies. After that’s all done, we’ll listen to it for however long and go back and once again make any changes we deem necessary. All of this takes place over a few weeks or even months. We do work on multiple songs at a time. Once we’re all finished, we’ll book some studio time and get everything recorded. But just because we’re in the studio doesn’t mean the songs are done. A lot of changes are done on the fly in the studio as well.
- With the music industry always changing and evolving, what are the things you like and don’t like about it? What aspects of the industry do you feel have hurt or helped your career? If you could change anything about it, what would it be?
As you can probably tell from our first answer, we’re a little bitter about the direction the metalcore genre is heading in. We’re all fans of “classic” metalcore, and we want to keep that genre alive. Many metalcore bands are heading in a different direction that we want to go, and that makes it a little tougher for us to stay afloat in the genre. We don’t want to dictate what kind of music someone should play or listen to. We strongly believe that anyone should be able to play or listen to any kind of music they want. Our problem is when bands call themselves one thing and then play something completely opposite. We think it’s somewhat cheap to climb up the popularity ladder on the backs of fans of a certain type of music, and then to switch it up once you’re at the top and act surprised when those same fans feel betrayed.
- Do you or any of your band members have any side projects? If so, what are they?
Damon plays bass and sings in a pop punk band called A Page Unturned. Other than that, A World Extinct is the only thing on the plate for the rest of us.
- When you’re preforming how do you handle any mistakes on stage if they ever happen? Do you have any stories that stand out to you that you had to make a memorable recovery?
It depends on the mistake. If it’s something small like missing one note, you can usually get away with it because most people won’t notice. If it’s kind of a silly mistake like dropping a pick or a stick, then you recover as soon as possible and laugh about it afterwards. If it’s a huge mistake, like coming in early or late, you pretty much have to stand there, take your lumps and be embarrassed, but the show must go on. You do what you have to in order to recover and you keep playing.
We haven’t had too many memorable recoveries, but we have had our fair share of on stage mishaps. Things like our bass amp not working for some reason, so Damon had to mime like he was playing. Or having problems with the click track and having to try and fix it mid-song. If you play long enough, you’re going to have things that go wrong. It’s just how it is. It’s how you react and recover that is important.
- How do you decide which songs go into a set when you perform live? Do you change up the sets or stick to a regular set list? Do you have any covers?
A lot of times it depends on the show we’re playing. We always try to fit to the rest of the bands as closely as possible. If another band is headlining, we’ll try to pick songs that fit their style, so that we can appeal to the fans at the show. So if it’s a heavier show, we’ll pick our heavier songs. If it’s a softer show, we’ll pick our softer songs. If we’re headlining or it’s a show with a lot different kinds of bands, we’ll just pick our favorite songs to play.
You have to change up the set list to keep from getting bored all the time. Not just for us, but for the fans who want to see us. No one wants to see the same songs being played every show. There’s a difference between playing your most popular songs frequently and playing the same set list every show.
We don’t have any released covers, but we did cover “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry a few years ago! We never officially recorded it or released it, but we did do it!
- If you had a choice to go on any bands tour, which tour would you pick and why?
We’d love to tour with any of the bigger metalcore bands out there. August Burns Red, Architects, The Devil Wears Prada, Underoath, etc. Not just because we’re all huge fans of these guys and would love to watch them play every night, but we would love to play to the crowds they can draw.
- Do you have any advice for any upcoming artists? What’s the best piece of advice someone gave you when you realized you wanted to be a musician?
If we could give any advice, it would probably just to be patient. Nothing is going to come quickly or easily. There’s going to be a lot of times that you play to no one, or get less than a hundred listens on a song. Just because that happens doesn’t mean you should give up. Everyone has to pay their dues, and as long as you keep at it, good things will happen. A lot of people think that getting signed and touring the world is the criteria for being successful, but we don’t think that’s true. Writing and playing music is one of the most rewarding feelings in the world, regardless if you’re playing to 10 people or 10 thousand. As long as you’re enjoying yourself, then you’ve made it.
It might be cliché, but the best piece of advice any of us got was that practice makes perfect. Get good at your craft and everything else will come. That’s not just in music either. That’s just life in general.
- Any last words?
We said a lot in this interview, and I’m sure people are tired of reading these long answers! So just thanks again for this interview. We love being able to get our voices and ideas out there.
Ian Parra – Guitar
Ryan Hamilton – Guitar
Damon Porras – Bass/Vocals
David Ochoa – Drums/Keys/Programming